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Cigar Review: Tatuaje La Vérité Churchill 2008

11 Jan 2011

Eighteen months ago, my colleague reviewed the pre-release version of the Tatuaje L’esprit de La Verite. According to the wine-inspired model of the Vintage line, the Churchill-sized La Verite is tops in the blend, while that L’esprit de La Verite he smoked is the “second.”

That isn’t the only thing about the Tatuaje Vintage line that takes a cue from the wine world. Unlike almost every other cigar on the market, the Tatuaje Vintage line consists of tobacco entirely from one farm. In this case it’s Don Pepin Garcia’s La Estrella farm in Estelí, where the Nicaraguan habano tobacco was grown.

Also like wine, Tatuaje creator Pete Johnson planned to use a futures system to sell the cigars before they were available to be consumed. That ambitious plan fell through for the 2008 vintage—not necessarily all that surprising given that it took decades of consistent wine making for top Bordeaux wines to develop a robust futures market—but I suspect in a few years he won’t have much trouble pre-selling much of the Vintage production, particularly if buyers get a nice discount for their faith.

The cigar has a classic look, with a matte, nearly vein-free medium brown wrapper framed in a classic gold band that displays the 2008 vintage. The gold trim differentiates the Churchill (7 x 47) from the robusto-sized L’esprit de La Verite, which has a silver band.

When you finally get around to smoking the $20 cigar, the first thing you’ll notice is its immaculate balance. La Verite features a combination of subtle cedar, coffee bean, paper, and cream. There’s also a bit of peppery spice when you retro-hale.

As it develops, the profile moves from medium-bodied to more full-bodied and cedar emerges as the dominant flavor. If most top cigars are like Bordeaux, with rich, well-defined flavors, this is more like fine Burgundy: balanced, subtle, and noble.

I’m interested to see how aging affects this smoke. Johnson says the Churchill is blended to age longer, with slightly more ligero tobacco. That potential for greatness may be enhanced by the fact that the cigar was rolled immediately after fermentation, so it could age entirely as a completed cigar.

Ultimately, this is a very good cigar with the potential to be even better in the future. Still, I’m looking forward to the Vintage 2009, which will use a combination of habano, criollo, and pele de oro tobacco; I expect this to better demonstrate the blending talents of Johnson and Pepin. But just because I’m more excited for the next edition of the Tatuaje Vintage doesn’t mean that the balanced strength of the 2008 is at all disappointing. With the potential to get even better, the Tatuaje La Verite 2008 earns a rating of four stogies out of five.

[To read more cigar reviews, please click here.]

Patrick S


photo credit: Stogie Guys

5 Responses to “Cigar Review: Tatuaje La Vérité Churchill 2008”

  1. Jwyatt55 Tuesday, January 11, 2011 at 6:06 am #

    Great review! The 2009 la verite is amazing and blows the 2008 out of the water!

  2. mighty Tuesday, January 11, 2011 at 8:38 am #

    I had heard that many of these had wrapper problems, so much so that they even returned many cigars so they could get a newer and stronger wrapper.

    My friend gave me the robusto and it was wonderful. Great balance, complexity, and everything else this article mentioned. Witnessing firsthand and knowing about the potential wrapper issue, I took a chance and bought a Churchill.

    Needless to say, the cigar literally blew up and the wrapper was in such a bad condition that it appeared it was almost falling off the cigar.

    After the Black and Red "Tubos" that also had terrible burn issues and needed to be aged outside of their tube, and these Verites having major issues, in no way, shape or form would I buy a higher end Tatuaje in advance. I even know of a cigar store that didn't even want any of the Verites after their terrible experience with the "Tubos" mentioned earlier.

    I love many Tatuaje cigars, but these higher end cigars are too risky at the moment for my tastes and budget.

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